You know you're a local when you've had this epic Des Moines drink
There’s a phrase in Des Moines that you will hear people say, and at first, you may be confused. “Let’s go get a boot.” Or, you’re a local, and you know that it means getting a communal beer poured into a 2-liter, boot-shaped glass at the Hessen Haus.
When someone suggests this, your answer should always be “Yes, I’ll meet you at Hessen in 10.”
But know that when you agree to this, there are rules. The rules, as I have been taught, are that the boot travels clockwise around the table. Drink with the toe pointed towards you and be sure to flick the boot as soon as you are done drinking before passing it to the next person. Never let the beer splash you in the face while you are drinking or your rookie-status will be known by all. (There’s a delicate maneuver that I use that is a slight twist of the boot while drinking which seems to keep the splash at bay.) Fail to complete any of these tasks correctly and you have to drink again. Put the boot on the table and you buy the next one. Finish the boot, and the person that passed you the boot has to buy it.
The last two rules are important to know because there will be multiple boots. There are few better bonding experiences (and no other experience includes drinking under the photos of the Iowa Polka Hall of Fame) then drinking a boot with new or old friends. The power of the glass boot is that strangers can turn into friends in a matter of mere minutes. So maybe you want to put the glass boot on the table just to ensure the good times keep coming. Just be sure to keep that Uber app ready.